A Chinese teenager drowned while trying to save a girl’s dog. “Save My Sister!”, a girl’s cry for help. It turned out that it was her pet dog, which caused a young boy – who could not swim – was swept to death.
The tragedy has rekindled memories of 14-year-old Lai Ning, who died helping firefighters in 1988 and was declared a national hero in China.
However, with the drowning of a dog, there has been a public debate about the cost of kindness.
Rescuers retrieved the boy’s body from a river in Chengdu in southwestern China’s Sichuan province on Wednesday, two days after he went missing in an attempt to save a dog – which was initially called for help as “a little girl”.
The unfortunate boy’s father said that his son was only 16 years old and could not swim. An only child, he is 190cm tall and is described as “extroverted and kind-hearted”.
A witness said the girl shouted “Help, save my sister”, but people couldn’t believe it was a pet dog. But others said the girl made it clear it was a drowned dog when she called for help.
The Chinese teenager drowned shortly after diving into the water and his body was found 1.5 km downstream after two days of searching.
The tragedy sparked a heated discussion on Chinese social media about the dangers of bravery, while also criticizing the girl for calling the dog like a human.
“I cannot stop thinking of Lai Ning. Why did he finally disappear in official publicity? Textbooks we used in my childhood kept telling me to fight with bad guys when it comes to crimes like robbery. I was confused how I would win since I weighed less than a bag of rice,” a netizen commented.
“I told my students today that only when you’re able to save yourself then you can go help others. One must act wisely in emergencies, not just bravely,” another poster said.